2 hour 44 min | Action - Drama | 18-10-2023
Cast - Balakrishna Nandamuri, Sree Leela, Kajal Agarwal, Arjun Rampal and others
Director - Anil Ravipudi
Producer - Sahu Garapati, Harish Peddi
Banner - Shine Screens
Music - Thaman S
Nandamuri Balakrishna came up with another release this year after his Veera Simha Reddy was released for Sankranthi. Balayya joined hands with the F2 director Anil Ravipudi who is known for making entertaining films. The trailer is promising with Balayya in an aged look and Sree Leela being trained to join the military. Kajal Aggarwal and Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal appear to be playing important roles. The director also says there is a surprise look of Balayya in the film. The movie was released today in theaters and let us see what Bhagavanth Kesari has. Here is the review from one of the US premieres.
What Is It About?
An ex-prisoner Bhagavanth Kesari (Balakrishna) becomes the guardian of Vijji Papa (Sreeleela) after her police officer father’s sudden demise. Bhagavanth wants her to join the military as per her father’s wish, but Vijji is against it. Vijji falls in trouble due to a conspiracy in which a brutal businessman Rahul Sanghvi (Arjun Rampal) is involved. Bhagavanth Kesari locks horns with Rahul Sanghvi, who also is his rival from the past. What happened between Rahul Sanghvi and Bhagavanth Kesari and how the conflict ended, is all about Bhagavanth Kesari.
Balakrishna attempts a role different from his usual choice. An aged role with temper and humor blended is what Balayya enthralls us as Bhagavanth Kesari. His Telangana accent and the dialogues have come out well for Balayya’s role. Balakrishna’s look suited him well.
Sreeleela is an apt choice for the role she was given. She looked mostly passive in the first half but picked up well in the latter half. Kajal Aggarwal was seen in a limited role and she did not have much to do as a psychologist. Arjun Rampal is a new villain for Telugu movies, but his role did not look special as a lot of Bollywood villains have been doing similar roles.
Bhgavanth Kesari songs are a setback. The background music is ordinary until the pre-climax and climax episodes. Action blocks have the elevating music raising the bar. The Cinematography is good with the color tone and some excellent frames. Action episodes were shot well. The screenplay could have been better.
Flat Narrative In First 40 min
The trend of senior heroes taking age-appropriate roles is being liked by the audience of late. Balakrishna too attempted it but in his own style and also proved he is a director’s actor.
There were many movies that had heroes going to any extent for the family and for the promises they made. Bhagavanth Kesari is one of them but Balayya’s new characterization and him giving scope for another role to have equal importance is what makes this movie different.
The first half of Bhagavanth Kesari goes with a flat narrative most of the time. Though the establishment was quick, the usual highs in a Balayya movie go missing here until the pre-interval. The track between Balayya and Kajal is boring. Movie takes off from oochakota episode and maintains steady narrative until intermission. The pre-interval and interval episodes came out well.
Second half is well written and executed, there are many high points in second half. It starts with a high note and an action-packed appearance of Balakrishna. Flashback episode is really good. The surprise looks and scenes around it were done well. The nostalgic elements with the vintage Balayya’s background music add a punch. The dialogues need a special mention as Anil shows Balayya equally powerful with dialogues with what he does in action blocks. They are not over-top dialogues but good enough to subtly show the baddies their place. The bus fight is decent.
The confrontation scenes of Bhagavanth Kesari and Rahul Sanghvi are not so powerful. The villain thread could have been different from the monotonous drug ships, corrupt politicians, party funds, and so on.
However, Bhagavanth Kesari does not have typical Balayya-movie stuff. There are no big twists, neither the goosebumps moments all over. Only the action episodes with the apt background music might enthrall the fans in the second half. The good touch-bad touch episodes were narrated well. A few other Sreeleela-Balayya emotional scenes and action scenes are impressive.
Overall, Bhagavanth Kesari offers an ordinary story with a fresh characterization of Balakrishna. It is neither a typical Balayya-style movie nor an Anil Ravipudi mark movie, but a blend of both which could attract a family audience along with the fans.
Bottomline: Decent Family Movie – Message Included